Juliana Ashrifeh lands summer internship on NASCAR's social media team
Juliana Ashrifeh, a rising senior majoring in marketing and management and minoring in new media, didn’t imagine herself working in the motorsports industry, but when she came across an opportunity to intern on NASCAR’s social media team she jumped on the opportunity.
“I was scrolling LinkedIn and I saw an application for NASCAR, and I thought it would be really cool,” said Ashrifeh. “I’m always throwing myself out there, even if I think I’m underqualified for a position, I always look for things that are going to push me.”
NASCAR is synonymous with speed, and quickly after she submitted her application Juliana found herself leaving her hometown of Canton, Mi for NASCAR headquarters in Charlotte, NC.
“I finished my study abroad program [Netherlands, Germany, Poland: Global Business Experience], I came back, and I had three days to spend with my family and then immediately came to Charlotte,” explains Ashrifeh. “This is my first time moving away from home, and I commute to Wayne State. I was very excited to live more independently, I’m 21 and I think this is the perfect time to get that feeling of independence.”
Social media is a subject that Ashrifeh has an intense interest in. While managing her own social media accounts gave Ashrifeh some idea of what to expect when stepping into this role, there were many surprises as well.
“The first day I got here I met with my co-workers and asked about what NASCAR has been struggling with so I can work on a project. Now I’m helping NASCAR build a new audience base,” explains Ashrifeh. “I’ve been researching my generation’s consumer behavior because a lot of companies agree that we are the hardest generation to advertise to. Gen Z is very picky.”
Ashrifeh is also attending NASCAR racing events and creating content from videos and pictures taken at races. This is Ashrifeh’s first job in social media marketing, in what she hopes to make a long career.
“I love social media, anyone who knows me knows that I like creating my own content,” says Ashrifeh . “I have my own TikTok account and I’m trying to grow on social myself, so working with companies that work in the social media space teaches me a lot about what people are looking for, consumer behavior and how to grow a platform.”
Her experience won’t just be a benefit for herself. Ashrifeh plans to bring her experience and connections to bear for the student organization groups she is involved in.
“After this internship, I’m going to have a lot of connections, and I’m going to take advantage of this internship to make as many connections and friendships that I can,” explains Ashrifeh . “As professional chair of Alpha Kappa Psi, I’d love to have the amazing people I met here come and present to my fraternity, same with Wayne Women in Business, and the Mike Ilitch Marketing Association, which I am involved in."
The right opportunities and experience can come when you least expect them. Which NASCAR wasn’t top of mind for Ashrifeh when she began looking for an internship, she found a place where she can gain the experience she needs and build connections.
“No matter how many times you get rejected, keep applying yourself. When you do get that job or internship, you’ll realize how much it truly aligns with you,” says Ashrifeh. “Before applying to NASCAR I’ve gotten countless rejections and have rejected companies I thought would be a good fit. The companies and the industries you never thought you would work in could be the ones that align with you. NASCAR never crossed my mind, but it truly did align with what I wanted to learn regarding marketing and social media interests.”
-Patrick Bernas, Information Officer III